Diet and Men's Sexual Health

Sex Med Rev. 2018 Jan;6(1):54-68. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.07.004. Epub 2017 Aug 1.


Introduction: Male sexual dysfunctions are more prevalent with aging. With increasing evidence about the impact of various diets on chronic diseases, there is a growing interest in establishing an association between various diets and men's health and sexual dysfunction.

Aim: To review the current literature examining diet and dietary patterns and male sexual health.

Methods: A thorough literature search of peer-reviewed publications on the association between diet and dietary patterns and male sexual health (erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, and infertility) was carried using the online PubMed database from 1977 through 2017 with the keywords diet, dietary patterns, erectile dysfunction, male hypogonadism, low testosterone, and male infertility.

Main outcome measures: Summary of significant findings on erectile function, androgen levels, and semen analysis parameters in relation to diets or dietary patterns.

Results: Thirteen studies on diet and erectile dysfunction and 15 studies on diet and testosterone levels were reviewed, including observational studies and randomized controlled trials. Thirteen studies analyzing the relation between diet and semen analysis parameters were reviewed but consisted of only cross-sectional and case-control studies.

Conclusion: Evidence exists demonstrating the association between various diets and men's sexual health. Erectile dysfunction appears to lessen in men adhering to the Mediterranean diet. Obese and overweight men who lose weight through low-fat, low-calorie diets seem to have improvements in their erectile function and testosterone levels. Furthermore, a Western diet is associated with lower semen quality. Future prospective and randomized controlled trials are necessary to establish the benefit of diet and dietary patterns on men's sexual health. La J, Roberts NH, Yafi FA. Diet and Men's Sexual Health. Sex Med Rev 2018;6:54-68.

Keywords: Diet; Dietary Patterns; Erectile Dysfunction; Hypogonadism; Infertility; Men's Health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health*
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Overweight / complications*
  • Overweight / physiopathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Semen Analysis
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diet therapy
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Sexual Health*
  • Weight Loss